, Volume 120, Issue 4, pp 335–351 | Cite as

Homolog pairing and sister chromatid cohesion in heterochromatin in Drosophila male meiosis I

Research Article


Drosophila males undergo meiosis without recombination or chiasmata but homologous chromosomes pair and disjoin regularly. The X–Y pair utilizes a specific repeated sequence within the heterochromatic ribosomal DNA blocks as a pairing site. No pairing sites have yet been identified for the autosomes. To search for such sites, we utilized probes targeting specific heterochromatic regions to assay heterochromatin pairing sequences and behavior in meiosis by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). We found that the small fourth chromosome pairs at heterochromatic region 61 and associates with the X chromosome throughout prophase I. Homolog pairing of the fourth chromosome is disrupted when the homolog conjunction complex is perturbed by mutations in SNM or MNM. On the other hand, six tested heterochromatic regions of the major autosomes proved to be largely unpaired after early prophase I, suggesting that stable homolog pairing sites do not exist in heterochromatin of the major autosomes. Furthermore, FISH analysis revealed two distinct patterns of sister chromatid cohesion in heterochromatin: regions with stable cohesion and regions lacking cohesion. This suggests that meiotic sister chromatid cohesion is incomplete within heterochromatin and may occur at specific preferential sites.



Centromere identifier


Fluorescence in situ hybridization


Modifier of Mdg4 in meiosis


Ribosomal DNA




Synaptonemal complex


Stromalin in meiosis


Sisters on the LOose

Supplementary material

412_2011_314_MOESM1_ESM.doc (64 kb)
Supplementary Tables 1–2 (DOC 64.0 kb)
412_2011_314_Fig9_ESM.gif (141 kb)
Fig. S1

Thread-like signals of the 1.686 g/cm3 (h37&h48) probe at middle and late prophase I of spermatocytes. The h37&h48 probe signals are shown as green and DNA, stained by DAPI, is shown as red. White arrows indicate thread-like signals between homologs. Size bar represents 5 μm. (GIF 141 kb)

412_2011_314_MOESM2_ESM.eps (2.6 mb)
High resolution image (EPS 2.55 mb)
412_2011_314_Fig10_ESM.gif (147 kb)
Fig. S2

Signals of the AATAT (h61) and 359 bp (h31) probes at different stages of spermatocytes. The h61 probe signals are shown as red, the h31 probe signals are shown as green and DNA, stained by DAPI, is shown as blue. Size bar represents 5 μm. (GIF 146 kb)

412_2011_314_MOESM3_ESM.eps (2.2 mb)
High resolution image (EPS 2.21 mb)
412_2011_314_Fig11_ESM.gif (95 kb)
Fig. S3

Signals of AATAC (h6) probe at middle and late prophase I of spermatocytes. The h6 probe signals are shown as green and DNA, stained by DAPI, is shown as red. Size bar represents 5 μm. (GIF 94.8 kb)

412_2011_314_MOESM4_ESM.eps (2 mb)
High resolution image (EPS 1.97 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular BiologyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Genome Science and Technology ProgramUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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